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Dec 23, 2012 4:20am EST
and historian. i have been thinking more about the historic implications of what we are seeing happen in syria today. syria is a former part of the ottoman empire made up of a mosaic of ethnicities. what is striking to me is given the arab world has never really confronted the role of minorities and had a reckoning with what role minorities should play. it went from the ottoman arad to the post world war colonial era where colonial powers drew boundaries and helped organize these countries. then it went from the colonial era to an era dominated by authoritarian regimes. the question of what role they will play has never been addressed in any fashion. i think we're seeing an unraveling of that order. some very big questions about the kurds, the christians, the -- we are watching something of historic magnitude. was it the rule or the exception? i think that is an interesting question and time will tell. >>the assad family because they were from a minority sect, my understanding is they treated the other minorities fairly well with the exhibition of the kurds because they wanted a greater politi
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